All recurring reports of increasing infections among growers with the Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) confirm the importance of high-quality (drain) water for Van der Ende Groep. The company has had tests carried out with its Kathara ultrafiltration system to remove ToBRFV.
With the experience gained from the Poseidon sodium remover, the sub-technique used then has now been further developed into the current Kathari ultrafiltration, says Ruud Schulte, Manager Water Treatment. "Water analyses taken to monitor the Poseidon showed that ultrafiltration was highly effective in removing viruses, bacteria, and fungi: a valuable by-product, it turned out."
Round of feedback
This led to the question from the market whether ultrafiltration could be used to remove pathogens from drain water, partly due to the emergence of the ToBRF virus. With this in mind, Van der Ende Groep sat down at the development table.
A feedback round was also part of this; a tour in which the engineers received input from, among others, Chris van Hulzen of Tebarex. "With this valuable input, we were able to dot the proverbial i's and cross the t's during the development process," says Micha van Nieuwkerk, CCO at Van der Ende Groep.
Kathari realizes a log 4 reduction of viruses and molds, and a log 6 reduction of bacteria, by applying ultrafiltration through membrane technology. The viruses, bacteria, and fungi are physically separated from the drain water.
The ultrafiltration technique has been a proven method for decades and is used worldwide in various water purification situations. "We have optimized this technique after extensive experience with Poseidon and in consultation with a renowned membrane manufacturer, and made it suitable for use in greenhouse horticulture.''
In a trial, conducted by Groen Agro Control, the effectiveness of ultrafiltration of ToBRFV-contaminated drain water was tested. After filtering ToBRFV-contaminated drain water with a UF filter, no infections were found in a bio-assay with two times five tomato plants. In short, no virus was found after ultrafiltration in this test, Ruud points out.
Results of bioassay (number of ToBRFV-infected plants/number of inoculated plants)
For more information about the system, Van der Ende refers to the dealer/installer.